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Paul's Blog

Yes, I'm taking the blog approach also, although I'll continue the Cinque Terre WIP thread until it kills me ends.  I want to post small things, sometimes for feedback as I learn how to paint, build up the courage to pick up a larger brush, and paint more loosely.  It's slow going, so far.

I have been procrastinating, which usually means doing other paintings, and not the ones I really should be working on.  For example...

I completed a tutorial painting on the Michael James Smith website, in his style.  I'm not advocating this, but I think comparing the DMP approach to the MJS approach can be interesting.  It's all realism anyway, and more an alla-prima versus deliberate layered and brush-technique approach.  I'm finding that there are times when DMP doesn't serve me well, and I need to look elsewhere for techniques.

Here is the result, an Austrian snow scene.  I can't show the reference, it's not mine to share, and behind a paywall, but assume that this is reasonably close, but not quite.  It's 12" x 12" Geneva paint on primed wood panel.



The foreground snow is problematic, and I'm redoing it in a more DMP style, which is the right colors in the right place, and maintaining the abstraction.

The biggest difference I find is speed.  Scrubbing in low-resolution block-in layers, then adding texture and glazes over that is fast.  The above painting was done in three sessions, roughly corresponding to three layers, about 10 hours in total.

The approach relies heavily on exotic brushes and different techniques.  It's hard to master, and I certainly haven't done that, but it works a lot of the time.  The techniques are really just a standard set of abstractions that work.  For example, using this particular brush, with thick paint, for that kind of tree at that distance makes leaves appear.  It's just layers of colored dots.

It's an approach optimized for speed of painting, because it all happens wet-in-wet with paint of different viscosity.  Just like DMP, the paintings look pretty rough until the end, when it all comes together.

All my color matching is DMP, and I think DMP would yield a better foreground and background.  But it's hard to beat this approach for trees.
Richard_PalsartRosanneRenoirJuliannadencalMikeDerbytassieguyBobitalyBOB73mariebToddaustonFilurenSummerLeo2015manitouElize
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Comments

  • I've not heard of this artist. From what you've described and from what I can see (without paying) on his website it seems to use a lot of brush techniques to create the impressions of texture. Kind of like a more developed Bob Ross style I suppose.

    The style to me doesn't look loose, more of an illustrative quality.

    I like the painting though! And I am glad you are starting a blog! :D
    RenoirPaulB
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    Richard_P said:
    The style to me doesn't look loose, more of an illustrative quality.
    It feels loose when I'm doing it, because it's not precision stroke placement.  The illustrative effect is more me doing it poorly than anything else.
  • No I meant his paintings. Loose to me is more abstracting away the details that make up a texture. But I guess that could only be my interpretation of what loose is? :)
    PaulB
  • Hi Paul :)   i am also doing Michael Smiths lessons.  I feel Mark's limited palette and color matching are invaluable. I also appreciate some of  Michael's techniques, so I am learning from both, then hope to come up with my own unique method. Look forward to seeing how it works out for you.  
    PaulB
  • You've done a fine job here, @PaulB. Lovely composition. And those trees and the background are very convincing... there's real depth there.  I look forward to seeing how you resolve what you see as the problematic foreground. Maybe some deeper/richer blue/violet in the shadows on the foreground snow would lift that area. But even without that, this is a fine landscape which would look good on any wall.
    PaulB
  • I think this is lovely.  MJS has shared so many free videos and I believe I have watched them all a couple of times.  He is so generous as is Mark Carder.  I was thinking of joining his online class and am hearing great things about his lessons and also the choice of class options.  I spent hours looking at his father's paintings at a gallery in Carmel (not far from where I live).  So precise and beautiful - his father often puts animals somewhere - even if it is little bunnies.  Do you really find it that much different than DMP?  To me, MJS is a fine colorist, he puts the correct color and value in the correct place - although he does start with midtones (and loves fast drying - I still hate acrylic but have tried his block-ins) but the putting the correct color down and being done with it is something I wish I could do like DMP and MJS.  I think it is going to be a great fit @PaulB .  Thank you for sharing!
    RosannePaulB
  • Very nice @PaulB. Bung in a reindeer and send it to your family as a xmas card. Whenever I try to paint in a less precise way it invariably ends up just looking untidy and amateurish. But every now and then the brushstrokes will somehow work together as they are supposed to and the magic happens. Damned if I can work out why though - I suspect its still just right colour and value, but (for me at least) difficult to get right when trying to produce a more spontaneous and painterly look. 
    PaulB
  • I’ve seen some of Michael Smith’s free videos too. He clearly has tons of tips and tricks to teach.  Your rendering looks really well done in that style. You’re a quick learner.  No doubt the color matching learned here has helped. 

    His style is more photorealistic in its way than Mark’s but figuring out our own style requires learning and studying as many others as we can along the way. So I wish you luck. 

    I’m looking forward to following and learning from your blog. You remain among those I’ve learned the most from. 
    RosannealsartPaulB
  • @PaulB ; I am also glad you have started this blog.  Very interesting.  Summer
    PaulB
  • If I tried this style it would look like a polka dot dress :-)

    You are quite faithful to technique and application. Your very controlled, precise brush stokes convey a beautiful scene; there is no doubt what is depicted here.

    If I may, aside from using this approach, there are some things in this painting that draw attention. First, that sky color is .magnificent! I am curious to know what you used to attain it? Second, given the intense blue if the sky which presumes strong sunshine I wonder if that same blue couldn't be included in the snow shadows? I live in beautiful rural Wisconsin and we've had a lot of snow lately. The colors of sunlight and shadow in a snowy scene are varied and sometimes intense.

    Of course, I share this knowing full well that your intent was to follow a certain style and to duplicate a source. You've done a perfect job!
    PaulB
  • First of all: your painting is very beautiful! I know in modern time doing something looking photorealistic often drive people saying it looks like a photo, or that lacks of emotions etc etc I read somewhere that was photography to push artists to search for a different way of painting, expecially about landscape to fulfill the vacuum created with the modern technology. Even if for me is partially true, considering the Vienna's school with Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka and the birth of psychoanalysis with Freud and Jung...
    I wrote this cause I feel we are kind of sharing the same road. I know the artist you are talking about, he is very very very talented and maybe in another historical period he could be much more recognised and appreciated, for all the implications I wrote above. You are very talented too in my opinion, I like the way u paint and I'm impressed by how fast u can implement new techniques with so good results. I'm sure this searching among other artistic lands will bring u in a undiscovered place: yours.
    RenoirPaulB
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    Rosanne said:
    Hi Paul :)   i am also doing Michael Smiths lessons.  I feel Mark's limited palette and color matching are invaluable.
    Hi @Rosanne!  I've seen your excellent work.  You are right, Mark's paint, palette and mixing are the only ones that makes sense to me.
    RenoirRosannemarieb
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    tassieguy said:
    Maybe some deeper/richer blue/violet in the shadows on the foreground snow would lift that area.
    I agree, deeper shadow colors, less yellow in the highlight, crisper lines in places, and less messing around with funky brushes.  I feel the light and shadows don't make sense the way I did it.  Thanks.
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    Julianna said:
    Do you really find it that much different than DMP?  To me, MJS is a fine colorist, he puts the correct color and value in the correct place - although he does start with midtones (and loves fast drying - I still hate acrylic but have tried his block-ins) but the putting the correct color down and being done with it is something I wish I could do like DMP and MJS.
    I think it has some comonality with DMP.  It relies on abstractions and getting the color/value right.  A lot of the abstractions come from the brush skills, which are hard to replicate.  It's mostly wet-in-wet.

    Aside from that, it's unique.  A careful block-in that tends towards mid-tones, dark glazes for lowering tone and adding texture, then a few layers to get the detail added.  It is not a dark-to-light approach, and elements get completed one by one.

    The acrylics are for speed, and he says frequently that he dislikes acrylics and would use oil, but speed is important.  I spent a month painting one leaf, and that kind of speed doesn't pay the rent, so I can't blame him.  My version of that is to use only oils (gave all the acrylics away) and switch between a lot of paintings in various stages of completion.  I'm also not doing this to pay the rent.
    Rosanne
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    Roxy said:
    Bung in a reindeer and send it to your family as a xmas card. Whenever I try to paint in a less precise way it invariably ends up just looking untidy and amateurish.
    You're right, it only lacks a gift-wrapped box in the snow.

    I have the same problem as you.  I relax a bit, and the results are strange.  Still working on it though.
    Roxy
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    I’ve seen some of Michael Smith’s free videos too. He clearly has tons of tips and tricks to teach.  Your rendering looks really well done in that style. You’re a quick learner.  No doubt the color matching learned here has helped. 
    Thank you @Wishiwaspainting.  I've learned more from DMP than anywhere else, but it always interesting to see what the different approaches bring.
    Rosanne
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    Renoir said:
    If I may, aside from using this approach, there are some things in this painting that draw attention. First, that sky color is .magnificent! I am curious to know what you used to attain it? Second, given the intense blue if the sky which presumes strong sunshine I wonder if that same blue couldn't be included in the snow shadows? I live in beautiful rural Wisconsin and we've had a lot of snow lately. The colors of sunlight and shadow in a snowy scene are varied and sometimes intense.
    Thanks @Renoir.  The sky is just French Ultramarine, Titanium White and just enough Phthalo Blue to not cause regret.  There is a little Pyrrole Red in the clouds.

    You're right, some of that blue needs to go into the snow, less yellow, and clearer shapes and contours.

    Rural Wisconsin: you know your snow!
    Boston: I was shovelling this #$%^ yesterday morning.
    Renoir
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    Bobitaly said:
    I wrote this cause I feel we are kind of sharing the same road. I know the artist you are talking about, he is very very very talented and maybe in another historical period he could be much more recognised and appreciated, for all the implications I wrote above.
    Thank you @Bobitaly, that's kind.  I'm enjoying painting a lot, and the more I do, the more interested I am in its history and techniques.
    Renoir
  • Love Boston! I almost took a job there. I worked in NYC for a short time. I consider myself a latent east coaster. It's a struggle living in Lake Wobegone but I try to use that energy for reading and painting. Nonetheless, Bostonians have more than their fair share of snow.
    PaulB
  • @PaulB, the snow scene is terrific. Makes me cold looking at it. The trees and sky are spectacular. I too was wondering if you snuck a dab of phthalo in there. The suggestion to add a little sky color in spots on the snow is a good one. I noticed this in Germany (the only place I've been where there was snow and bright sunlight in the same place at the same time) The blog is a great Idea too. How many "WIP" have you got going now?
    Renoir
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    BOB73 said:
    I noticed this in Germany (the only place I've been where there was snow and bright sunlight in the same place at the same time)
    Come to Boston @BOB73.  See everything in the same day.

    How many "WIP" have you got going now?
    I have 10 sitting there in various stages of completion.  One is just a drawing, one is 99% done, the rest are in the "lots to do" category.
  • I was born on Cape cod. The first cool weather of my first autumn I raised such a tantrum My family moved south Where it isn't supposed to snow. But we went back for visits around Chatham, Falmouth, Braintree and Cambridge. Loved the Swan Boats when I was a little tyke. We all loved the Boston Braves back then too.
    PaulB
  • How fascinating! I've only known you as an incredibly skilled and detail focused artist of realism so I had assumed you had done this for years. It is amazing how much improvement can be made following DMP. Mark often says that all the steps he tells us to use, eventually we'll be able to abandon because we will intuitively know it.

    It will be really exciting to see what happens after you spend a week with Mark.
    PaulB
  • edited February 19
    I am glad you are doing a blog.  You have so much to offer.  Your technical gifts and willingness to experiment and share are a great addition to this forum.  I also appreciate your straightforward feedback.  Its very helpful.  Your leaf picture above is one of my favorites.  I can certainly appreciate your wish to branch out and try some things and I look forward to what you will do.  Ten paintings is at once is more than I can keep up with.  I thought three was a lot. 
    Renoir
  • Wow, I didn't realise you were doing so many paintings..

    Seeing the before and after DMP picture (the leaf) is so amazing. It looks like you skipped about 50 paintings worth of improvement in one go..! :D
    WishiwaspaintingRenoirPaulBRosanne
  • The leaf is fantastic, and I gained much from that for my own practice - keep it going 
    PaulBRenoir
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    I don't know quite what I'll be painting once Cinque Terre is finished, but I know it will half the size at 32" x 24".



    Rustoleum surprised me again.  I painted four panels in an unheated garage during a blizzard, then let them dry in there.  24 hours later, they were completely dry with no odor.



    This time I tried to apply only one coat of Rustoleum, so using a drenched mini roller, put it on thick and carefully.  The result is indistinguishable from earlier panels with two coats, and has the same texture.

    If I hadn't dropped one panel and caught it bare-handed in the worst way, it would have been incident-free.  I don't know what gets Rustoleum off hands and arms, but the best thing I've found so far is time.
    marieb
  • No runs, no drips, no errors. Johnny Bench said in a spray paint commercial but that rustoleum sticks to what you put it on. I thought they had fish oil in the formula but maybe not for the automotive finishes. If it did fish oil might get it off your skin.. All this great stuff you're doing PaulB MC's gonna tell you save your money and go home. I hoope not but wouldn't be surprised.
    PaulB
  • Paul, you've inspired me. The next project will be on AlumaComp (prefinished) which I'm waiting for from Jerrysartarama.
    PaulB
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    Thanks @BOB73, but it's more likely I'll be asked to use some giant two-fisted filbert and paint an eyeball.
    manitou
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    @Wishiwaspainting I'm curious how you find the surface to paint on, once it's primed with something.
  • No matter what he asks of you, you will do to the best of your ability and you won't stop trying until you are satisfied that it can't be done better. Then when it's over you will be happy because it's far better than you thought it would be and you didn't think you could do it right up until the last try.
    PaulB
  • swarfega  - is what we used to use for removing everything on the hands except the skin - not sure if they have it in the US @PaulB
    PaulBmarieb
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    @alsart Swarfega!  That brings back memories.  I remember that being good for getting oil and axle grease off hands.
    alsartForgiveness
  • " I'm curious how you find the surface to paint on, once it's primed with something."  

    I'm still waiting.  Panels were originally ordered 1 1/2 wks ago (Jerrysartarama) but they weren't shipped.  When I checked on them they couldn't find what the problem was.  So I canceled that order and ordered Artefex panels from DaVinci Artist supply in NY a couple of hours ago.  I was just emailed that they have shipped them today.  Now THAT is good customer service.  These panels have some kind of white polyester coil coating on their "unprimed" panels.  They suggest a light sanding then using whatever you normally use to prime a canvas.  So I'm not sure whether I'll just use the Geneva primer something else.
    PaulB
  • @PaulB I'm just catching up with your blog.  I swear we must have the same youtube channels - I have recently purchased a few of Foxton's videos - flowers and colour mixing.  I have purchased 2 Munsell color books - the first didn't have removable chips so that was a stupid mistake - the big book is out of print for now so I got the knock-off big book which was $100 but just printed pages - I just received a used Student book 2nd edition and it is in really great condition and I can remove the chips so between the two, we'll see how I fair.  I also just received the N2, N4,N6 and N8 Williamsburg tubes that were suggested by a popular Munsell painting group.  I am practicing a ton - my colors have always been so hot - not subtle.  I feel I am losing myself though - I've never been into dull/grey paintings.  My former teacher encouraged me to keep clean, pure, vibrant colours so I am at a crossroads.  I'll not post those Foxton paintings here as it isn't DMP but I have made up a still life grid like he does and it is genius!!!  My strings on my frame are diagonal and midsection vertical/horizontal and my piece of linen is exact same size - side by side.  It is amazing how much easier it is to paint from life like that!!!  Aren't we lucky to live in an age where we can access so many talented people so readily.

    I am most looking forward to your July workshop with Mark - I am so jealous!  I hope you are able to share a lot with us.  I love your blog!  Thank you for keeping us updated.  P.S. my husband is from Winthrop - I love Boston.  
    PaulB
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    @Wishiwaspainting, interesting, I haven't tried artefex panels yet.  But I will.  I just got a stack of small  Ampersand Gessoboard to try.  I haven't touched one with a brush yet, but to the fingers, it feels just like the Rustoleum finish.
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    @movealonghome I'm practising Sargent strokes now.  Very difficult for me.  Not sure I'll have time to anything serious like that before the class though.  I want Cinque Terre finished first.
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    @Juilanna, I got the new student Munsell book, but I am yet to be a full believer.  But I've only just begun, so who knows.  I have tried mixing the greys and adding color, it works.  But it's really easy to get milky color.  We'll see how that goes, and I will post anything that is DMP-relevant.  Aside from that, I'm still gathering the supplies.

    Yes, I'll be doing a lot of updates from the Austin class, provided there is no objection.

    Winthrop?  He must love aircraft.
  • @PaulB   hahaha   aircraft!  You obviously know where it is :).  So, I tried grey values - B/W - it was not really neutral.  Then, I started adding the burnt umber as Paul recommends in some of his videos - it still was hard to get a not warm, not cool but a true neutral.  That is when I read about these Williamsburg - I just got them 2 days ago - they are considered perfect neutrals and I can tell a big difference.  I think there is some ochre? in some of the values?  Whatever they did, I'm not seeing milk anymore like with my own mixtures.  Having the values laid out on top of my palette is helping me tremendously.  So far, I am only using my Genevas with the Munsell neutrals - i'm trying to map out a silver goblet - when I pull a neutral I need and the right value - I am astonished at how simple it is.  Time will tell.  That is so weird you are a fan of Foxton as well, he is SO nice.  I had a few questions via facebook and he answered me immediately - I was shocked.  Milk = too cool.  Muddy = too warm.  FOr instance, if you have milky painting, just warm up the shadows - you will see instantly that it is temperature (I know paul doesn't believe in temperature per se).  It's fun to learn.  

    Are you going to have something for the challenge?  I hope you submit one of the ones you're working on.
    PaulB
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    @Julianna, I agree, mixing Munsell is quite simple, although I haven't tried the line of neutrals yet.  I am a fan of Foxton, but just look at his work, it's great.

    I agree with what he said about warm/cool, it's just a low-resolution, inaccurate way to describe hue.

    I will have a challenge entry in time, but I'm not sure I want to show my preliminary efforts.  We'll see.
    alsartJulianna
  • PaulB

    I guess you will be fine with aluminium and rustoleum in cold temperatures.

    I posted a paper on lab study showing cracking patterns on traditional canvas paintings subjected to a range of cold temperatures. Oil and acrylic sandwich layers start to differentially contract below the critical temperature of 45 degrees f. Surfaces exposed to temperatures below freezing were a mess.

    Denis

    PaulBRosanne
  • Woo so many new informations, Munsell, Foxton..I'm going to dig the web..thank you!
    PaulB
  • I'm sticking with DMP for now except Sargent style don't have a clue on how to do that except just jump in. My drawing was horrendous. My hand can't control the pencil like it used to. Getting old really sucks. Avoid it as long as you can. Maybe I'll take up cooking. I should have no problem with a stir fry.
    PaulBmariebmanitou
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    I now have a stack of Gessoboard panels, although I certainly don't need more panels lying around.  They look and feel like leftover pieces of flatpack furniture.  Looking forward to trying them.
  • Thanks so much for your valuable participation here, and contribution so much appreciated. Congrats on going to Mark's class, excellent decision, this also may be life changing in the area of painting, a fantastic boost in abilities and confidence without a doubt. Looking forward to your progress and reporting back to us! One of the very best things to do in the whole world no doubt!
    PaulB
  • SummerSummer -
    edited February 27
    BOB73 said:
    I'm sticking with DMP for now except Sargent style don't have a clue on how to do that except just jump in. My drawing was horrendous. My hand can't control the pencil like it used to. Getting old really sucks. Avoid it as long as you can. Maybe I'll take up cooking. I should have no problem with a stir fry.
    Ha ha, @BOB73 ; If you don't have a clue on how to do the Sargent style, you are not alone.  He didn't either at first when he was learning it from his mentor.  I think you are on the right track in fact.  Being frightened is probably part of the process because of the lack of under drawings.  This fact kept his work spontaneous and fluid because there were no little boxes to fill in with value and color matching.  He decided on the spot what would happen if he were to mix two adjacent colors together on the painting that would make another, a third value or color.  If I'm thinking about such things and my brush is on the canvas, my strokes tend to be longer and more wistful which to me is very scary and why I like the DMP method better.  Just my opinion.  I'm assuming having or not having an under drawing doesn't matter for the challenge going on right now, but it certainly helps not to have an under drawing if the JSS method is to be emulated.  Summer
    ForgivenessPaulB
  • For MC's class, are you going to bring some robot skin to paint on or traditional canvas/linen.
    PaulB
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